Wednesday, July 01, 2009


Okay, so I went to see Transformers II with my son and grandson, and my expectations were -- how shall we say? -- way low.

It wasn't that bad.

If you take out the two jive-talking hip-hop bots, which were just insulting and Stepin Fetchit to the point of groaning, it was your basic check-your-mind-at-the-door and enjoy your Icee and popcorn summer blockbuster. Lotsa robots getting blowed up real good, slomo shots of the young hottie jiggling across the desert, and even a fembot with a tongue that surely had interesting possibilities.

It had a few funny lines, a couple of nice set-pieces, and state-of-the-art CGI and sound.

My favorite moment was when the kid's car radio played "Your Cheatin' Heart;" if you go, watch for it, I dare you not to laugh at that -- and the next song it plays ...

I'm guessing the target demographic is eleven-year-old boys, and they nailed that dead-0n. (Speaking here as a man who used to write kidvid in which I got to blow up a lot of robots, I enjoyed that aspect of it. Boom! Boom! Ka-BOOM!)

Bigger than the first one, noisier, sillier. Brainless. Violent. PG T&A. Not a plot twist you can't see coming from ten miles away.

And far and away better than Terminator 4. Really.


Dan Moran said...

"And far and away better than Terminator 4. Really."

Well, sure. But so is Jack in the Box, and people have died eating those burgers.

Steve Perry said...

And did you laugh when Hank Williams came on the radio? Fess up.

Dan Moran said...

OK. Yes. But it's not nice of you to make me say so.

Scott said...

"If you take out the two jive-talking hip-hop bots, which were just insulting and Stepin Fetchit to the point of groaning..."

"So aside from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?"

Steve Perry said...

Mrs. Lincoln? Nobody got killed during this movie, least not in the theater I was in ...

It's like junk food -- sometimes you get a burger, fries, a shake. Burger is good, milkshake is fine, but the fries aren't cooked right -- not enough, too much, oil was too cold -- so you shove them to one side and go on with your meal.

The Nigbots -- as Steve Barnes named them -- were racial stereotypes. But, as he pointed out, there were several black characters among the troops who were adept and heroic, so it wasn't a total sambo alert.

Yeah, de amos 'n' Andy bots irritated me and I'm a really pale white guy. I pointed it out in my review.

If I were black, that might have been enough to shove the burger and shake back and walk out. I'm not, and it wasn't. I've seen Richard Pryor and Chris Rock do worse niggah-riffs, and half the rap singers out there play that same stereotype and make a fortune on it. I wouldn't have picked it up, but it's a fair target.

I'd already paid my money and the movie did have some funny spots. I didn't say it was good -- I said it wasn't bad compared to the expectations I carried into the theater.

Your mileage may vary.

Brad said...

Well, it was sure as hell better than spending the afternoon folding laundry.